LUKoil preoccupied with its new image

On April 22 Vagit Alekperov, President of LUKoil, one of the largest Russian oil companies, will hold a press conference "dedicated to the preparation of the restructuring program". According to the poll conducted among analysts, they are unanimous in the belief that the investment image of LUKoil is not good enough. "LUKoil produces more oil than anyone else does, it has the most extensive foreign property, but its stock falls behind YUKOS' and Sibneft's", Konstantin Reznikov of Alfa Bank said. On April 19, according to the Russian Trading System data, YUKOS market cap was $21.7 billion, while that of LUKoil - $14.7 billion. Sibneft's market capitalization ran at $8.8 billion, but in terms of market cap per ton of oil produced, its shares were more expensive. In 2001 Vagit Alekperov let Mikhail Khodorkovsky (YUKOS President) and Yevgeny Shwindler (Sibneft President) overtook the leader of the Russian stock market. That's something to be exasperated about. "LUKoil promised to shape its new image in 2003, but YUKOS' example made it hurry up", Dmitry Druzhinin of Prospect investment company said. Analysts speak about LUKoil's two major problems: a subjective and an objective one. Analysts believe that the company informs them on its business activity not good enough. "They are making some transactions, in Latin America, for example, and what shareholders are going to get out of that is not clear, and nobody can provide sufficient explanations", the analyst said. "Of course, no company will tell the whole truth, but LUKoil is not even trying to explain its actions to shareholders", the Vremya Novostey newspaper reported.

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